COLUMN: The best years of your life
That’s it until I am free.
No more being held back by a four-year commitment I put myself into two years ago.
This past summer gave me a glimpse of life after graduating from college. I moved to a new city, knew no one and became an intern at a magazine I wouldn’t mind working for as a career. My roommate was 23 years old and therefore all of the friends I made were also of a similar age. Although that’s only three years older than me, they all had “big-people” jobs and were looking to date “The One,” not just some hookup.
Three months of hanging with people three or four years older in a “grown-up” world turned me into someone who wanted to rush through this college thing and get into the real world.
I came back to college in the fall feeling more like 23 than 20, and I was in the mindset of wanting to get out of here as soon as the second week.
But the past two months have shown me the whole “college is the best years of your life” theory that people love to quote.
I’ve been realizing it every time I find myself laughing at how weird college life can be from brewing coffee at 2 am. or eating peanut butter by the jar, but it really struck me after a chat with my professor.
I sat in a chair across from him in his office, listening closely to his rambling to pick out the words of advice he usually throws in there.
“You’re on top of the world right now. You can do anything you want.”
I didn’t have to dig to hear that one.
And that’s when it hit me. When am I again in life going to be able to go anywhere, do anything, be anything that I want? When else am I going to be learning as much as I am taking the time to right now?
The nights that seem to roll on into four in the morning having “life chats” with friends and the mornings that come too soon are what college is all about; figuring out what life is all about.
Friends at your side for every heartbreak, bad grades and major meltdowns is not something that will happen after graduation, unless you have a good Wi-Fi connection for Skype.
When else am I going to be meeting as many people as I am right now?
Every place I walk on campus, I see someone I know and feel part of a community, not just a stranger in a big city.
Opportunities are pouring into my lap every day. I am in a place where I am consistently molding who I am as a person and who I am going to be post-grad by testing out different roles. I have the ability to try new things without feeling out of place and joining new groups to expand my knowledge about the real world.
I no longer wish to rush through this. Being a college student is something I shouldn’t take for granted, for these next two years might just be the best years of my life.
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